Penguin feather mimicking oil infused elastomer for anti-icing propertyPart of:
Antarctic, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent in the world, where the lowest recorded temperature is -89 degree and it suffered from many blizzards throughout the year. Although the severe environment, dozens of penguin species were found in here due to their high adaptation. They daily dive in water at sub-freezing temperature but it was confirmed that no one had never observed ice or frost on the feather of a healthy penguin. It was discovered that the feather structure contains innumerable tiny pores that working as the air trap to block the heat transfer. In addition, penguins apply the preen oil produced by a gland to the feather continuously using their beak. The combination of hierarchical structure and oil will make the feather very slippery and super water repelling.
Inspired from the unique of penguin feather, we proposed an approach to minimize icing adhesion of the condensed water droplets on a surface by the combination of poor thermal conductive material and low surface tension oil. Hierarchical of oil-infused elastomer textures was also fabricated in order to minimize projected contact area with condensed droplet for decreasing the heat transfer. Different concentration of oil in elastomer solution was tested to show the contribution of slippery in removing iced droplets after icing process. The textured surfaces present ultra-low adhesion strength with ice droplets comparing with several materials and the valuses show the approximately an inverse proportion to the concentration of oil infusion in elastomer solution. The results can be used for understanding of anti-icing phenomena and introducing a facile approach for icephobic surfaces.